Fencing with Ottawa Neighbors!


Ottawa fencing season is just around the corner, so we thought we would try to help you with a little bit of info on building a fence with neighbors.  This can be a very touchy subject and cause extreme arguments if you don’t play your cards right.  So our first bit of advise would be not to cause a feud with your neighbor and try to be nice (we know it’s not always pleasant with some neighbors).

Types of fencing

There are a wide variety of fences for different applications.  Some are for security, some are for privacy, some look better than others.  You just have to look at all your options and decide what works best for you.  If you look at our previous post on fence products that will give you a breakdown on what you need to know to get you started.  But if you would like to discuss it with us feel free to give us a call.  Before approaching your neighbor do your research on all the products and have some info for them about the products so they don’t get too overwhelmed

The post ball caps are a nice accent on an iron fenceWhite Cedar lattice panels with iron inserts in the fence panels on the leftA maintenance free PVC fence is a wise choice for homeowners with precious time


Who pays for what part of the fence?

This can get a bit confusing when dealing with multiple neighbors and that’s why you should call us to sort things out.  So, basically how it works is whatever part of the fence you share with that neighbor is divided into 2 equal parts (assuming that they agree).  Fence gates to the entrance of each persons yard are not a shared part of the fence (usually).  If you do get quotes prior to approaching you neighbor be prepared and have all the costs of each neighbor all worked out so that everyone knows how much they will have to pay to get their fence.

How you should approach your neighbor?

When approaching your neighbor regarding building a fence you should do so in a polite and casual manner.  You are not approaching your neighbor to start an argument or make demands but to discuss a landscaping plan that will accommodate both properties.  Here are a few tips to prepare yourself:

  • Before approaching your neighbor hopefully you have an idea of their personality and what they may consider, this may help you to be better prepared.
  • Have a plan of attack (No, this is not an attack….just a figure of speech).  Just have a plan on how you’re going to approach with the question in a nice manner.
  • Do you’re research on fencing products……contact a fence company.  You may even want to get quotes on the costs associated with the installation of your new fence.
  • Do you know what type of fence you want?  Or are you willing to compromise?  If you are set on a certain fence type or product be sure to have something to show……even just a few pictures will help.
  • Also note that some people would feel offended that you were putting up fence and may think that you are doing it because of them.  Be sure to let them know that this is not the case (unless it is) and that you just want some added security.


Now that the hard part is over everyone has to make their decision……fence to no fence?  Some people may also want to get other quotes to see if what you have presented is a reasonable price compared to other companies in the Ottawa area.   So, what’s next?

My neighbor says they don’t want the fence.  What to do?

Your neighbor has notified you that they don’t want the fence.  Well just because they don’t want a fence doesn’t mean that you still can’t have your fence, the unfortunate part of this is that you will have to pay for all of the fence on your own.  This also means that you will have to put the fence ENTIRELY on your property which means everything above and below the ground HAS to be on your own property.  You want to make sure that the fence goes on your property because if there’s ever a dispute on the location of the fence you will loose that battle and will be forced to move or remove the fence.

My Neighbor says they don’t want to pay for the fence.

Some people seem to think that they can force their neighbor to pay for half of their fence.  This is definitely not the case, you cannot force your neighbor to pay for half of your fence.  The only possible reason someone could be forced into installing a fence is for safety reasons….hence the City of Ottawa Pool Enclosure By-Law.  So unfortunately in this case again you would have no choice but to pay for the fence in full by yourself and put the fence on your property.


Everyone has agreed to share the cost of the fence.

Finally some good news, everyone has agreed to the same style of fence and share the cost.  When sharing a fence the fence is installed on the property line as the fence is equally owned by both sides.  In terms of figuring out who pays who….the easiest way to go about it is that everyone signs separate contracts with the fencing company for the amounts that they owe for their part of the fence.


Well that wasn’t so bad was it?  The main thing when dealing with neighbors if to remain calm and don’t get angry at your neighbor.   You have to remember that not everyone has the same priorities.  Not everyone wants a fence, some people just see a fence as being senseless and limiting their freedom which you have to respect.  Also not everyone wants to spend money on a fence, everyone has their own budget.

REMEMBER:  Be nice to your neighbors……..and they’ll be nice to you!